Rookie quarterback John Skelton completed 11-of-25 passes for 183 yards and his first career touchdown, while also directing the game-winning drive in the final moments to lead the Cardinals to the win.
"Nothing's bigger than beating the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Day for me right now," Skelton said. "Whiz (Ken Whisenhunt) was shaking my hand before the hand and I said 'we have one last gift to unwrap.' Sure enough it took the last minute, but it happened."
Stephen McGee, taking over for the injured Jon Kitna, completed 11-of-17 throws for 111 yards in his first NFL game for the Cowboys (5-10), who have alternated losses and wins in their last five games.
But that was only part of the story.
Dallas overcame an 18-point deficit to take a 26-24 lead on a McGee 37-yard scoring pass to Miles Austin with 1:41 to play but David Buehler missed the ensuing extra point wide left, which turned out to be the difference in the game.
McGee threw a perfect pass down the right side that Rashad Johnson just missed intercepting and instead was caught by Austin inside the 10 before he took it the rest of the way to give the Cowboys their first lead of the night.
Buehler then hooked his extra point try wide left leaving the visitors ahead by two.
"I'm not feeling too good," Buehler said. "I feel bad for Stephen. He drove the team down there and got the touchdown. PATs are something that is something automatic. You have to put them through the uprights. I think I just rushed it a little bit."
In a season that's been filled in unbelievable disappointments, Beuhler's second extra point of the season certainly ranks right up there.
Still, head coach Jason Garrett remained positive after the loss.
"I thought we did a good job battling through the different injuries we had," he said. "Stephen came in, and once he got himself comfortable I think he played better and better. We were able to run the ball effectively to take the pressure off him."
Dallas closes the season next week at Philadelphia.
Cowboys find new way to lose
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